Father Christmas will still be able to deliver presents this year ... after the AA came to the rescue when his sleigh broke down at Buckden.
With his reindeer resting ahead of the Christmas dash, Santa and his helpers had resorted to a sleigh being pulled by a 4x4, on Saturday.
But when the vehicle would not start, members of Huntingdon and District Round Table rang the recovery service to tell them Santa and his sleigh had a problem outside Buckden Pre-school.
The AA call handler was a little suspicious. However, a second call to explain the engine of the car that pulls the sleigh would not start resulted in a breakdown van being dispatched to the pre-school, where Father Christmas had been guest of honour at its Christmas fair.
Vicki Brooks, a Buckden Pre-school committee member who helped to organise the fair, said the children were not worried about the sleigh because they got to spend more time with the main man.
She said: “Father Christmas arrived with the Aragon Singers and then went to his grotto to meet the children and hand out presents.
“When it was time for him to go, they couldn’t get the car started.
“The Round Table tried ringing the AA who didn’t believe a sleigh had broken down but they did eventually. You couldn’t make it up!”
Thomas Birch, chairman of Huntingdon and District Round Table, said the battery was dead after someone left the lights on.
He said: “With our Christmas charity collections due to start in just a few days, we decided to take Santa’s sleigh for a bit of a dry run at the weekend.
“We encountered a few minor technical problems. We have since had a word with the ‘big man’ and assured him everything is fully operational and ready for our first round on December 1 in the Hemingfords.”
An AA spokesman said: “Our patrols always aim to fix our members vehicles at the roadside – including Santa. We’re pleased we were able to get him on his way at such a busy time of year for him. Hopefully his sleigh will be a bit more reliable on the big day.”
The Buckden event raised almost £1,100 for craft materials, upkeep of the facilities and to buy toys for the pre-school.